PDA

View Full Version : Doctor Strange



Cyia
08-08-2015, 05:04 AM
We've discussed the upcoming movie in other Marvel threads, but I've not seen a thread specifically for it. This link likens the movie to Fantasia, but the Disney Expo in Africa displayed some concept art that was a lot darker - like horror movie dark, apparently. Stephen Strange has been given a "menacing" slant (mostly Cumberbatch's facial expressions, I would imagine) and a very dark, almost black costume with blood red and green robes.

I'm not sure how they're going to dovetail and occult-heavy film into the MCU, but I guess we'll see next year.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/08/06/doctor-strange-cinematographer-calls-film-marvels-fantasia

ShaunHorton
08-08-2015, 05:25 AM
Well, the article says it's going to involve other dimensions a lot. I could see it as being something along the lines of Strange's abilities are about pulling parts of those dimensions into ours, or making our dimension conform to the physical rules of other dimensions.

I'm optimistic though, especially with how well they did on THOR with melding the "magic" of Asgard into the modern world.

To say it's going to revolve around other dimension though makes me think of the new Fantastic Four movie, but I honestly don't know if that one is actually a part of the current MCU or not.

Layla Nahar
08-08-2015, 05:49 AM
At one time I would have flipped over backward hearing that a Dr. Strange movie was to be made. But I think I'll stick to the version I've developed in my mind from the comics.

(& cumberbatch as Dr. Strange... doesn't work for me, really)

Maggie Maxwell
08-08-2015, 08:32 AM
If they could make Thor work, with multiple planes/worlds/whathaveyou, they can make Strange work with magic and dimensions. I have faith.

And re: the new Fantastic Four movie being in the MCU, it's not, same way the X-Men aren't. Different company ownership for the films.

Tora Uran
08-08-2015, 07:12 PM
It was mentioned that Ant-Man actually shows a little of the kind of thing to expect that will actually get explored with Doctor Strange, which we did get a glimpse of in that movie near the end. I imagine it will be Strange transversing those dimensions we glimpsed instead of mostly passing them by for his movie.

It will be interesting to how they will tie it to the rest of the world in the MCU. So concept wise I am intrigued at least.

RichardGarfinkle
08-08-2015, 07:24 PM
It was mentioned that Ant-Man actually shows a little of the kind of thing to expect that will actually get explored with Doctor Strange, which we did get a glimpse of in that movie near the end. I imagine it will be Strange transversing those dimensions we glimpsed instead of mostly passing them by for his movie.

It will be interesting to how they will tie it to the rest of the world in the MCU. So concept wise I am intrigued at least.

The multidimension thing has been brought up before in Thor and in Agents of SHIELD. I'm kind of wondering if they plan to tie this into the main Avengers plotline by making the Eye of Agamatto be one of the Infinity Stones.

Cyia
04-03-2016, 12:07 AM
First on-set photos: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/look-benedict-cumberbatch-debuts-full-doctor-strange-costume-in-new-set-photos

Shadow_Ferret
04-04-2016, 05:05 AM
I'm a little disappointed with the look of the Eye of Agamotto, but considering I wasn't pleased with the casting of Cumberbuns, the photos I've seen of him aren't disappointing.

LittlePinto
04-13-2016, 08:01 PM
A teaser trailer was released yesterday. See it on Youtube here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt-U_t2pUHI).

I'm thoroughly teased.

Greene_Hesperide1990
04-14-2016, 02:12 AM
Same, I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Cyia
04-14-2016, 02:19 AM
Interesting hearing BC speak with an American accent.

For those better acquainted with the character, was Dr Strange supposed to be Asian? I don't know the context of his background, but folks on Twitter have mentioned that his heritage could have been Asian. I know the role Tilda Swinton is playing was both Asian and male (Hello, Marvel Dichen Lachman is both Tibetan and female if that's the direction you want to go) in the comics, but I'm unsure with Strange.

Honestly, he looks like Oded Fehr to me.

LittlePinto
04-14-2016, 03:46 AM
At first I was going to answer that Doctor Strange is Caucasian in the comics, but, looking again at the original art, I think one could argue a variety of other heritages as well, Asian among them.

I'm still not sure what to think about Swinton as the Ancient One.

Aggy B.
04-14-2016, 04:21 PM
Yeah. I'm not really sure that Strange was meant to be not caucasian. Looking through some of the artwork it looks a little more like a case of adopting the exotic to emphasize his "strangeness" without actually making him a PoC. In some versions he looks very Hispanic or Latino, in others he looks more Chinese, but more in the fashion of the original Star Trek making a bunch of white actors look "Asian" when they were supposed to be Klingons. (As in, it references a particular visual stereotype.)

As for Swinton, it was an odd choice. They could have made her a woman without making her white. I can only assume the decision was made about the same time folks were complaining about the lack of a Black Widow movie and the execs thought "We should add a female character to soothe the fans."

I dunno. I like the trailer, but I don't know enough about the original comics and characters to hazard a guess about whether they will do it justice.

LittlePinto
04-14-2016, 05:03 PM
I've always been one to think that if you can support your argument with the work then you can make it. So while I agree with you completely with respect to the original art--it's my preferred interpretation too--I can see where people are coming from when they say Strange could be of Asian descent. They're probably just focusing on the art and stripping out the cultural context in which it was created. (Comparison to the Star Trek Original Series is apt since they're contemporaries. I like it!)

When it comes to casting comic book characters, I think one could argue that the ethnicity of the actor doesn't matter at all provided it diversifies casting. Baron Mordo, for example, is clearly Caucasian in the comic books and Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing him in the film. I'm excited to see what he brings to the role.

Layla Nahar
04-14-2016, 05:06 PM
Honestly, he looks like Oded Fehr to me.

goood call


Yeah. I'm not really sure that Strange was meant to be not caucasian.

Or at least, not the nordic type


At first I was going to answer that Doctor Strange is Caucasian in the comics, but, looking again at the original art, I think one could argue a variety of other heritages as well, Asian among them.

Yah, he's definitely got some kind of dark, aquiline exoticness.

Layla Nahar
04-14-2016, 05:13 PM
Agree quite a bit.
VV



When it comes to casting comic book characters, I think one could argue that the ethnicity of the actor doesn't matter at all provided it diversifies casting. (or that the actor has some kind of presence that nails or enriches the character, also?) Baron Mordo, for example, is clearly Caucasian in the comic books and Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing him in the film. I'm excited to see what he brings to the role.

Love Chiwetel Ejiofor.

LittlePinto
04-14-2016, 06:05 PM
(or that the actor has some kind of presence that nails or enriches the character, also?)


Yes, exactly. :)

nighttimer
04-14-2016, 09:06 PM
Dr. Strange is a White dude. Always has been, though when Steve Ditko created and drew him back in 1963, he did have a slightly Asiatic look to him (https://comicsofdayspast.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/strange-tales_110.jpg).

Now that he's about to become The Star of a Major Motion Picture, there have been some arched eyebrows over casting a Black guy to play Baron Mordo and a woman as Strange's guru, The Ancient One. My eyebrow is not arched. I could care less as long as the movie's good.

Aggy B.
04-14-2016, 10:38 PM
I agree that adding diversity to a cast is not a bad thing and have no objection to making Mordo a PoC. I don't really have a problem with the Ancient One being a woman, either, but think it's peculiar that they made her Caucasian. Nor do I have a problem (personally) with them leaving Strange himself as a Caucasian because he was to begin with.

I think the issue with Swinton is highlighting a problem in film adaptation right now where, even as we see an increase in diversity in some areas, we see women being cast with less diversity - even when the original characters were PoC. (See the women in Wonder Woman and Scarlett Johanson as the lead in Ghost in the Shell.)

nighttimer
04-15-2016, 12:40 AM
I agree that adding diversity to a cast is not a bad thing and have no objection to making Mordo a PoC. I don't really have a problem with the Ancient One being a woman, either, but think it's peculiar that they made her Caucasian. Nor do I have a problem (personally) with them leaving Strange himself as a Caucasian because he was to begin with.

I think the issue with Swinton is highlighting a problem in film adaptation right now where, even as we see an increase in diversity in some areas, we see women being cast with less diversity - even when the original characters were PoC. (See the women in Wonder Woman and Scarlett Johanson as the lead in Ghost in the Shell.)

Sad, but true. If you're a good little Hollywood producer who's proudly liberal and gives generously to all the right causes and you're truly deeply madly committed to increasing diversity in your industry, when you're producing Dr. Strange and the decision is made to change the Ancient One from a guy to a gal, you've got to ask yourself one question.

Who can I get that can sell a ticket?

Tilda Swinton is not guaranteed cash money on Opening Week. She's a talented, if extremely pale, actress of some talent who will do a good job playing Stephen Strange's teacher.

But ask yourself this: who's the top Asian actress currently working in Hollywood?

Sorry. Trick question. There is no top Asian actress currently working in Hollywood.

Cyia
04-15-2016, 12:43 AM
Michelle Yeoh would have made an excellent female Ancient One, or as I mentioned above Dichen Lachman. I know she played Jiaying in Agents of SHIELD, but it's not like they haven't recycled actors before.

Aggy B.
04-15-2016, 01:12 AM
Michelle Yeoh is also who I thought of first. Or even Lucy Liu.

kuwisdelu
04-15-2016, 01:40 AM
and Scarlett Johanson as the lead in Ghost in the Shell.

Wait what? Ugh. Not this shit again.

I just hope Hollywood never gets their filthy hands on my favorite anime.

nighttimer
04-27-2016, 02:44 AM
Michelle Yeoh would have made an excellent female Ancient One, or as I mentioned above Dichen Lachman. I know she played Jiaying in Agents of SHIELD, but it's not like they haven't recycled actors before.


Michelle Yeoh is also who I thought of first. Or even Lucy Liu.

C. Robert Cargill (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/27/world/asia/china-doctor-strange-tibet.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=2), the screenwriter of Dr. Strange explains why The Ancient One got a race and gender makeover.


BEIJING — The trailer for “Doctor Strange” from Marvel Studios has ignited outrage against what some people call another example of Hollywood’s racist casting. It reveals that a Tibetan character from the comic book, the Ancient One, is played by Tilda Swinton, a white British actress.


It turns out that the filmmakers wanted to avoid the Tibetan origins of the character altogether, in large part over fears of offending the Chinese government and people — and of losing access to one of the world’s most lucrative film markets, according to one insider account.


In an interview last week, C. Robert Cargill, the main screenwriter, offered that as an explanation for why the Ancient One was no longer Tibetan.


The Tibetan issue is one of the thorniest involving China and other nations. The Chinese Communist Party and its army occupied Tibet in 1951, and Chinese leaders are well aware that many non-Chinese believe that Tibet should have independence or greater autonomy.


Marvel said in a statement that there was no problem with the casting of Ms. Swinton as the Ancient One since the character was written as a Celt in the film and is not Asian at all. Some critics have said (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/opinion/why-wont-hollywood-cast-asian-actors.html) that studio executives and filmmakers must have assumed Asian actors had less drawing power than white actors.


In an interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEpbUf8dGq0&t=17m54s) on the pop culture show “Double Toasted,” Mr. Cargill said the decision to rid the character of its Tibetan roots was made by others working on the project, including the director, Scott Derrickson. It came down to anxieties over losing the China market, he said, if the portrayal of the Ancient One ended up stirring political sensitivities in China.


In response to an angry viewer’s question about the casting of Ms. Swinton, Mr. Cargill said: “The Ancient One was a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place. He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people.”


He added that there was the risk of “the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.’ ”


Earlier in the interview, Mr. Cargill had acknowledged that the origin story of Dr. Strange in old Marvel comics does involve Tibet, and that his mentor was Tibetan. “He goes to a place in Tibet, the Ancient One teaches him magic, he becomes a sorcerer, then later he becomes the Sorcerer Supreme,” Mr. Cargill said.


I may not agree with some of the casting decisions, but I have a better understanding of why they were made. Ghost In the Shell, is another matter.

Jcomp
04-27-2016, 03:07 AM
I may not agree with some of the casting decisions, but I have a better understanding of why they were made. Ghost In the Shell, is another matter.

The weird thing about Ghost in the Shell--at least as it currently seems--is that all they had to do make it a non-issue was export the setting of the story itself to the U.S. Nobody thinks of The Magnificent 7 as whitewashing Seven Samurai, or A Fistful of Dollars as whitewashing Yojimbo. Instead they just have Scarlett apparently playing a Japanese woman (/cyborg). It's absurd.


The explanation for The Ancient One (the "Asian stereotype" part) at least partly matches up somewhat with a similar explanation for why The Mandarin was adjusted for his onscreen debut. If we're keeping it real here, having the Ancient One be a literal Magical Asian who bestows powers on the white hero would have raised a different set of objections.

nighttimer
04-27-2016, 09:10 PM
The weird thing about Ghost in the Shell--at least as it currently seems--is that all they had to do make it a non-issue was export the setting of the story itself to the U.S. Nobody thinks of The Magnificent 7 as whitewashing Seven Samurai, or A Fistful of Dollars as whitewashing Yojimbo. Instead they just have Scarlett apparently playing a Japanese woman (/cyborg). It's absurd.

Yeah, that's some real Emma Stone shit (http://www.theguardian.com/film/shortcuts/2015/jun/02/emma-stone-whitest-asian-cameron-crowe-aloha-hawaii). :e2tomato:


The explanation for The Ancient One (the "Asian stereotype" part) at least partly matches up somewhat with a similar explanation for why The Mandarin was adjusted for his onscreen debut. If we're keeping it real here, having the Ancient One be a literal Magical Asian who bestows powers on the white hero would have raised a different set of objections.

Yeah, as C. Robert Cargill explained, they had to choose which hill to die on. Even more problematic than the Ancient One as the Magical Asian is Dr. Strange's "manservant" Wong, who brings a whole another load of stereotypes to the party. IMBD indicates an Asian actor, Benedict Wong (how apt!) has been cast to play the part.

We'll have to wait to see if Wong's bringing tea to the doctor and calling him "Master." That would be cringe-inducing. :e2smack:

It's illustrative though Cargill admits a major concern even more than meeting the demands of "social justice warriors" to cast an Asian as the Ancient One, is Disney trying very hard not to offend the nation of China. Money talks and everything else walks.

R.Barrows
04-28-2016, 12:25 AM
Watched the trailer and thought it was interesting. Perfect pick for a special effects extravaganza, but I'm not sure if I prefer Benedict Cumberbatch in the role. I'm just not sure if it's the right face for Stephen Strange. Still, I'm interested in seeing where they go with it.

Someone suggested the Orb of Agamatto as one of the infinity stones. That's a fascinating idea. It made me wonder about The Vision. Will Thanos have to kill him off to get the stone out of his head? If so, he certainly had a short life span. Maybe it will be unnecessary.

Lissibith
04-28-2016, 12:41 AM
Watched the trailer and thought it was interesting. Perfect pick for a special effects extravaganza, but I'm not sure if I prefer Benedict Cumberbatch in the role. I'm just not sure if it's the right face for Stephen Strange. Still, I'm interested in seeing where they go with it.

Someone suggested the Orb of Agamatto as one of the infinity stones. That's a fascinating idea. It made me wonder about The Vision. Will Thanos have to kill him off to get the stone out of his head? If so, he certainly had a short life span. Maybe it will be unnecessary.
Given one of the casting announcements from GotG2, I'd been wondering about the arc of The Vision myself...

nighttimer
05-05-2016, 07:52 PM
Former Star Trek actor George Takei shreds Marvel's excuses (http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/george-takei-dr-strange-casting-is-insulting.html) for their casting choices in Doctor Strange.

"So let me get this straight. You cast a white actress so you wouldn’t hurt sales … in Asia? This backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots. Marvel already addressed the Tibetan question by setting the action and the Ancient One in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the film. It wouldn't have mattered to the Chinese government by that point whether the character was white or Asian, as it was already in another country. So this is a red herring, and it's insulting that they expect us to buy their explanation. They cast Tilda because they believe white audiences want to see white faces. Audiences, too, should be aware of how dumb and out of touch the studios think we are."

J.S.F.
05-10-2016, 03:22 AM
Can't disagree with Mr. Takei's logic.

Just dumbass whitewashing. Sheesh. I mean, Tilda Swinton IS a good actress, no question, but totally wrong for the part. Hollywood already has a number of talented Asian actresses at their disposal, or they could even take a chance on a relative unknown Asian actress. But no, they cast a Wonder Bread woman as an Asian. Really convincing. 'Kay...'scuse me while I clean off my keyboard. Meh. Double meh.

I was prepared to give the movie a shot, but now, no. Not worth it.

amergina
05-10-2016, 03:28 AM
Doctor Strange is one of my favorite comic characters.

But I had reservations when they cast Cumberbatch. They're even stronger now that I've seen the trailer. Ugh.

LittlePinto
07-24-2016, 07:54 AM
New trailer! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSzx-zryEgM)

I am so excited for this film.

RichardGarfinkle
07-24-2016, 12:21 PM
Looks good. I can't figure out who the bad guy is supposed to be. I was expecting either Mordo or Dormammu.

nighttimer
07-25-2016, 12:27 AM
This is who Mads Mikkelsen (http://io9.gizmodo.com/we-might-finally-know-the-identity-of-mads-mikkelsens-d-1782346526) is playing and I have that comic and forgot about all it, but who cares because he's MADS MIKKELSEN! :hooray:

There's a distinctive "Inception meets super-heroes" vibe to this second trailer, and I'm vibin' on it hard.

Alessandra Kelley
07-25-2016, 03:24 AM
Liking the look. Liking the effects.

Still side-eyeing the whitewashing.

phantasy
07-25-2016, 04:02 AM
Liking the look. Liking the effects.

Still side-eyeing the whitewashing.

Ditto.

I actually know nothing about this comic, but I loved all the M.C. Esher-type effects.

ShaunHorton
07-25-2016, 05:10 AM
I think a lot of people are going to get sick in the 3D theaters...

nighttimer
07-25-2016, 07:37 AM
Liking the look. Liking the effects.

Still side-eyeing the whitewashing.

But no side-eye for making Baron Mordo a brother? (http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/wkidhxuyxtb4bgnqkagc.png) At least in Benedict Wong they got Wong right, not White.

LittlePinto
11-06-2016, 08:19 AM
No spoiler, quick review.

I think it's accurate to say that Doctor Strange emphasized plot over character, giving the characters--particularly the supporting ones--a flat feel. Despite this challenge, I think each actor did well with the material. Furthermore, the plot emphasis led to some of the emotional beats being dulled by the quick pacing. Nevertheless, the visual effects were stunning in IMAX 3D and the climax was the best I've seen in the past several years of blockbuster films. Overall, I think it's a fun popcorn flick that's worth seeing in the theater.

RichardGarfinkle
11-07-2016, 04:53 AM
It's beautiful even without 3D or IMAX. I liked the story and enjoyed the acting. Benedict Cumberbatch was great as Dr. Strange. None of the remaining characters were like their canon portrayals, but I think this version required out of canon. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

For anyone planning to see it, there are two Monk's Rewards, stay for both of them.

Zoombie
11-07-2016, 05:19 AM
I enjoyed it a lot!

It's a fun, fast movie with an entertaining plot, a good central character and mind-blowing speical effects.

Or, in other words, it's a Marvel Movie.

Maggie Maxwell
11-07-2016, 05:48 AM
Zoombie hit my thoughts dead on. Excellent special effects, Cumberbatch made a more-than-acceptable Strange, and the rest of the cast did well. I don't agree with the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, but she played the part well.

CrastersBabies
11-07-2016, 10:10 AM
Saw it today and loved it.

If I had to gripe about anything (which I rarely gripe about a film to the point of whining), the plot isn't perfect. It serves the origin story and I am a big fan of origin stories.

The "main" villain lacks some on-screen characterized depth in that I wanted to see his fall from grace in some small way, through flashbacks or whatnot, instead of simply being told. And the "big" bad wasn't really fleshed out so much for me, but am willing to look past that as it may come up again in the future and the climactic resolution with said_BIGbad was hilarious and quite clever.

All of the above was really nitpicking for me, though. Cumberbatch embodies his role. It was wonderful to see him as Dr. Strange. He had a believable character arc, though some of his growth from novice to expert felt oddly paced. Again, a nitpick. He played arrogant so well.

Humor was on the mark. Marvel excels at this.

The special effects were stunning. The last climactic scene blew my mind. In overt ways and subtle ways. How they artistically rendered this and conceptualized it is beyond me. Forwards/backwards, wuuuut? This is a movie I will buy on Bluray and watch that scene over and over again for its sheer beauty.

They did well with the Magic and how that is handled. The fight scenes were fantastic. Definitely a hard thumbs up from me.

One end scene after main credits, then LOTS of credits... then a scene after the rest of the credits. So stay until the very end.

I paid more to see it in 3D. It was worth it. Mind-blowing visuals.

Alessandra Kelley
11-07-2016, 03:20 PM
I like how they totally subverted Wong calling Strange "Master".

EMaree
11-07-2016, 03:50 PM
Really enjoyed it, easily my favourite Marvel movie for cool visuals, and a favourite for humour as well. Really enjoyed it, my only bugbear is the casting -- there really was no good reason for The Ancient One's casting choice. I like Tilda, but she brought nothing to the role that an Asian actress couldn't have.

veinglory
11-07-2016, 07:04 PM
It was certainly worth the price of admission. The 'celtic' Ancient One not being a high point.

Twick
11-07-2016, 08:12 PM
Really enjoyed it, easily my favourite Marvel movie for cool visuals, and a favourite for humour as well. Really enjoyed it, my only bugbear is the casting -- there really was no good reason for The Ancient One's casting choice. I like Tilda, but she brought nothing to the role that an Asian actress couldn't have.

The problem with the Ancient One is that if they cast an Asian actor, there would be complaints about being the role being a typical "magic Asian."

Maggie Maxwell
11-07-2016, 08:23 PM
The problem with the Ancient One is that if they cast an Asian actor, there would be complaints about being the role being a typical "magic Asian."

Yeah. It was basically a lose/lose situation. But having seen the character arc the Ancient One went through, I think it would have been viewed acceptable. She wasn't a flat character who was magic for magic's sake. She had motivation and depth. Plus, you know, female Asian Ancient One would have been freaking awesome, AND broken the stereotype (Magic Asian tends to be old male guru) while still maintaining the character's POC status.

Myrealana
11-07-2016, 08:29 PM
I enjoyed it immensely.

The effects were amazing. The acting was good. Chewital Ejiofor was, as always, great. I loved the way Strange solved the final problem. Really well done there.

The only thing that bugged me was Cumberbatch's accent. It ranged from New York to Boston to Midwest and slipped away altogether sometimes. I HATE bad American accents.

I know there are reasons they wanted him to be located in New York, but if they were going to make Mordo Black and the Ancient One Celtic, why couldn't Strange have been a British doctor who happens to work New York? Or cast an actual American, or a Brit who can do a decent accent. So many good options.

Cyia
11-08-2016, 07:14 PM
Just tell yourself the muddied accent is a result of misspent youth being kicked out of one boarding school after another, in different states. ;)

LittlePinto
11-08-2016, 07:53 PM
I didn't even notice the changing accent. Probably because no one can ever place my own. (I have Midwest, Boston, New York, Southern, and, my personal favorite, Australian all rolled into one if people who've commented on it are to be believed.) ;)

Jade Rothwell
11-10-2016, 11:18 PM
Yeah, the Ancient One was a bad casting choice. Other thing that bugged me was that Doctor Strange basically had the same "egotist who would never sacrifice himself! Wait, he did sacrifice himself. Character growth." thing that they did with Tony Stark. It was good the first time, but it really made them seem like the too similar characters to me.
Other than that, I really liked it! It was such a cinematographically pretty movie. I'm looking forward to the next part of the series.

LittlePinto
11-10-2016, 11:21 PM
I'll be honest here: I liked Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. She plays the unearthly character type well.

chracatoa
11-11-2016, 12:46 AM
Yeah, the Ancient One was a bad casting choice. Other thing that bugged me was that Doctor Strange basically had the same "egotist who would never sacrifice himself! Wait, he did sacrifice himself. Character growth." thing that they did with Tony Stark. It was good the first time, but it really made them seem like the too similar characters to me.
Other than that, I really liked it! It was such a cinematographically pretty movie. I'm looking forward to the next part of the series.

I loved it. Dr Strange has a special place in my heart since I started reading comics in the 80's, and I was never a big fan of Iron Man. I think the main difference is that he has to disregard everything he learned in sciences to learn magic, and unlike Stark he's in it to save lives (albeit only if it doesn't damage his reputation). But yes, the stories are similar.

Myrealana
11-11-2016, 01:19 AM
I'll be honest here: I liked Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. She plays the unearthly character type well.
I agree. I understand the racial implications of white-washing a character that was established to be Asian, I really do.

But, I had no previous exposure to the character, so without people on FB telling me the character was supposed to be other than what they cast, I would not have known. And I thought she was appropriately mysterious and ethereal and mystical.

dinky_dau
11-11-2016, 08:41 AM
Hmmmph. I was wondering when 'they' would get around to this hero.

There was once a TV version, which didn't do very well. Still, I'd take Doctor Strange over any of the currently hyper-muscular Marvel heroes currently flouncing across the country's multiplexes.

Doctor Strange is a thinking man's hero, in a way. This kind of figure has a very long history going back at least to the 1890s; there was an early vein of 'supernatural detective' fiction in Britain. And from the early days of radio, 'Chandu the Magician' comes to mind.

Oh well. If Doctor S. is on the way, can Namor the Sub-Mariner be far behind?

chracatoa
11-11-2016, 11:23 PM
I wish they made a movie of Cloak and Dagger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloak_and_Dagger_(comics)). Cloak superpower makes people regret their bad deeds and feel the guilt. So if the guy had killed someone, it'd be as if he had killed his own loving relative.

Even normal people would be devastated after going through his cloak.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. Seeing Doctor Strange on the big screen is good enough for me.

Jade Rothwell
11-17-2016, 09:42 PM
I wish they made a movie of Cloak and Dagger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloak_and_Dagger_(comics)). Cloak superpower makes people regret their bad deeds and feel the guilt. So if the guy had killed someone, it'd be as if he had killed his own loving relative.

Even normal people would be devastated after going through his cloak.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. Seeing Doctor Strange on the big screen is good enough for me.

I haven't read much Cloak and Dagger, but they appeared in Runaways, which is an amazing series. They were really good in it. I'd like to see more of them

Twick
11-21-2016, 08:40 PM
I wish they made a movie of Cloak and Dagger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloak_and_Dagger_(comics)). Cloak superpower makes people regret their bad deeds and feel the guilt. So if the guy had killed someone, it'd be as if he had killed his own loving relative.


Well, Marvel can't bring out all their properties at once.

nighttimer
11-22-2016, 01:49 AM
Checked out Dr. Strange this weekend and we all dug it, including my wife who knows less than zero about the character. For a comic book fan who read the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko stories, I've been waiting for this guy to finally get his own shot. Hell, if Ant-Man can, who can't?

Something I've never figured out and that's WHY do people get up and grab their coats as soon as the credits start to roll? I almost want to shout, "HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN A MARVEL MOVIE BEFORE? YOU'RE MISSING THE POST-CREDITS STINGERS!!!"
:e2Order::e2Order::e2Order:

I almost want to, but I don't. It's their loss. Losers.

veinglory
11-22-2016, 02:01 AM
Cloak and Dagger has even more hot button subjects than Doctor Strange. Black male character becomes dependent on white preppy girl due to drug abuse.... I loved the originals too, but would not be taking a run at that for the big screen right now.

Brightdreamer
11-22-2016, 02:15 AM
Something I've never figured out and that's WHY do people get up and grab their coats as soon as the credits start to roll? I almost want to shout, "HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN A MARVEL MOVIE BEFORE? YOU'RE MISSING THE POST-CREDITS STINGERS!!!"
:e2Order::e2Order::e2Order:


Some theater audiences just plain suck. We went to see Doctor Strange this weekend, springing for the 3D version... and the audience was the worst one we've sat with in ages, possibly ever. Roughly half never stopped rustling loud food bags or other items through the entire film. A family had kids who were too young to pay attention - they were done by the time the (admittedly overlong) previews finished, kept kicking the seats and talking, ran up and down the stairs loudly, until their father finally took them out somewhere past the halfway point... leaving a huge mess and a half-finished tub of popcorn behind. A couple sat there poking at their cell phones the whole time, then loudly and conspicuously got up and left 15 minutes to the end. And these are 3D prices they paid to not enjoy a movie! Why? There's a nice, cheaper 2D film or ten just down the hall...

Ergh...

Anyway, we enjoyed it. Not especially deep, but enjoyable and suitably spectacular in the fights and FX, with some interesting innovations on the Inception-style reality folding. Also not as much in the way of intrusive in-references and advertisements for past and future Marvel properties - that's a big reason why I've given up on more recent Marvel films, despite enjoying the earlier ones. They've become so interconnected that it seems impossible to enjoy any of them on their own merits without being bashed over the head with "Remember this from the comics? Huh, huh, do ya?" and "Coming Soon, to a theater near you... yep, we're makin' that movie!" junk. Glad we saw it in 3D and on the big screen, as I think something will definitely be lost on TV.

nighttimer
11-22-2016, 08:52 PM
Some theater audiences just plain suck. We went to see Doctor Strange this weekend, springing for the 3D version... and the audience was the worst one we've sat with in ages, possibly ever. Roughly half never stopped rustling loud food bags or other items through the entire film. A family had kids who were too young to pay attention - they were done by the time the (admittedly overlong) previews finished, kept kicking the seats and talking, ran up and down the stairs loudly, until their father finally took them out somewhere past the halfway point... leaving a huge mess and a half-finished tub of popcorn behind. A couple sat there poking at their cell phones the whole time, then loudly and conspicuously got up and left 15 minutes to the end. And these are 3D prices they paid to not enjoy a movie! Why? There's a nice, cheaper 2D film or ten just down the hall...

Ergh...

The rudeness of movie audiences has definitely spoiled the movie-going experience. Some mofo's Just. Don't. Care if they're being total dicks. They're going to talk through the movie, text through the movie, and get up and walk around during the movie (I had one guy get up about four times during Snowpiercer and the fifth time I refused to move and he had to climb over the next row instead).

The solution? As one guy at The A.V. Club put it:

I started doing the 10AM showings at my local AMC.

No teenagers + plus lower ticket prices = a happy me

I don't always want to get up at 8:30 in the morning to check out a 10:00 am movie, but I've done it before and its a good way to beat the crowd and avoid the assholes.





Anyway, we enjoyed it. Not especially deep, but enjoyable and suitably spectacular in the fights and FX, with some interesting innovations on the Inception-style reality folding. Also not as much in the way of intrusive in-references and advertisements for past and future Marvel properties - that's a big reason why I've given up on more recent Marvel films, despite enjoying the earlier ones. They've become so interconnected that it seems impossible to enjoy any of them on their own merits without being bashed over the head with "Remember this from the comics? Huh, huh, do ya?" and "Coming Soon, to a theater near you... yep, we're makin' that movie!" junk. Glad we saw it in 3D and on the big screen, as I think something will definitely be lost on TV.

It's amazing. Before the movie started, we sat through 20 minutes of trailers and the only ones I can recall a thing about are Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Everything else is gone down the memory hole.

Doctor Strange definitely justifies a 3D price and when I see it again, that will be the format of choice. I have Gravity on DVD and haven't watched it once since seeing it on the big screen in 3D.

EMaree
11-23-2016, 01:54 AM
I wish I could just teleport you guys to Scotland for a bit. My local cinema has very little chatter and there's a private 20-seat screen you can rent out with friends for 2x normal ticket price (well worth it for premieres we're excited about).

Alternatively, can someone teleport me to your cinemas and I'll growl at these heathen movie-ruiners in my scariest Scottish brogue?

Brightdreamer
11-23-2016, 02:04 AM
It's amazing. Before the movie started, we sat through 20 minutes of trailers and the only ones I can recall a thing about are Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Everything else is gone down the memory hole.

Our theater also showed the ad for that XXX sequel. I've seen that preview before (in Star Trek, IIRC), and almost laughed out loud at it both times. (Seriously, skiing through a jungle? Underwater motorcycling? The special team of stereotypes? The thing looked like a parody of an action movie... yet it wasn't.)

As for the rest, Wonder Woman at least had some potential, though I've learned not to trust ads. It'll be nice to see a woman front and center in a comic book movie, and it looks like she kicks sufficient Nazi tail to earn extra cheers, especially given the way things are going... (GotG2 can go on without me - I'm one of the few who didn't enjoy the first one.)

Diana Hignutt
11-23-2016, 05:34 PM
Our theater also showed the ad for that XXX sequel. I've seen that preview before (in Star Trek, IIRC), and almost laughed out loud at it both times. (Seriously, skiing through a jungle? Underwater motorcycling? The special team of stereotypes? The thing looked like a parody of an action movie... yet it wasn't.)

As for the rest, Wonder Woman at least had some potential, though I've learned not to trust ads. It'll be nice to see a woman front and center in a comic book movie, and it looks like she kicks sufficient Nazi tail to earn extra cheers, especially given the way things are going... (GotG2 can go on without me - I'm one of the few who didn't enjoy the first one.)

Just a note: Wonder Woman takes place during WW1, so no Nazis, just Germans.

aruna
11-23-2016, 06:08 PM
Haha! I stumbled across this movie by accident. I "had" to take some refugee kids to the movies (that's WORK!!!) and they got to choose which one. They really didn't have any knowledge about what the choice was, but chose this one. I have never heard of Dr Strange before this, never read a Marvel Comic, and don't like SF of fantasy books or movies. Not even Harry Potter.
But I do love Benedict Cumberbatch, so I was glad thy chose this. We saw it in 3D, dubbed into German (bah!).

I loved it! Not for the special effects, which were indeed spectacular, but left me cold, as well as the fighting and floating light-mandalas etc; but for the core story and "the quest", which has some parallels with my own spiritual path in India. Could have been deeper, though, though I uspect that's not very cinematic. My only criticism is that The Ancient One should indeed have been Nepalese or Indian -- one of those two, not anything Americans call Asian. But I guess that would have been too radical---
I myself had the great good fortune to have met an "Ancient One" in the 70's -- she was Indian. (not a bit like this one, though.)

The kids loved it too.
I would watch it again, but in English. Maybe with my own kids, who I think would enjoy it.

Brightdreamer
11-23-2016, 07:50 PM
Just a note: Wonder Woman takes place during WW1, so no Nazis, just Germans.

Sorry - my bad. (As I mentioned, it wasn't an audience conducive to close attention. And Nazis have been on my mind lately. Can't imagine why...)

Alessandra Kelley
11-23-2016, 08:13 PM
Just a note: Wonder Woman takes place during WW1, so no Nazis, just Germans.


Sorry - my bad. (As I mentioned, it wasn't an audience conducive to close attention. And Nazis have been on my mind lately. Can't imagine why...)

I had the same confusion with the preview of Wonder Woman because the German soldiers' helmets looked like later Nazi helmets, not the WWI things with spikes on top I expected.

Some military historians put me straight -- what we think of as the Nazi-type helmet was introduced in WWI. So it's actually not anachronistic. But it's also not Nazis, not yet.

Zoombie
11-23-2016, 09:09 PM
Plus, a lot of what Nazis did was to try and bring back Prussian militarism to a defanged Germany.

They just replaced "brutal but somewhat honorable" with "being literal monsters."

dirtsider
12-12-2016, 06:44 PM
Saw Dr. Strange over the weekend. (Yeah, I'm late on this.) Enjoyed most of it, although I thought it was a bit trippy in some places. I loved Dr. Strange comics back in the late 80's/early 90's so I was looking forward to it. I think some of the scenes of him going through the other dimensions ran on a bit longer than I would've liked but, overall I think I enjoyed it. Then again, it was the origin movie for Dr. Strange so they had to build up the concept of the other dimensions, especially since that's a big thing in the canon. That and Asgard has been more like another planet than just another dimension (and the Asgardians look human). The other Marvel movies focus on the physical side of things, especially the fights (people understand fighting with swords, spears, and hammers) but not so much with magic.

autumnleaf
12-12-2016, 07:37 PM
Apparently the reason why The Ancient One wasn't Tibetan in the film was to do with the Chinese market: http://screenrant.com/doctor-strange-china-tibet-ancient-one/

dirtsider
12-12-2016, 09:58 PM
Apparently the reason why The Ancient One wasn't Tibetan in the film was to do with the Chinese market: http://screenrant.com/doctor-strange-china-tibet-ancient-one/

Yeah, I read that and can understand the reasoning for it. But I would've still liked the character to have been Asian, if nothing else. When Dr. Strange was created back in the 60's, Eastern mysticism was a big thing, which is probably why the Ancient One was originally Tibetan. If nothing else, I would've liked the explanation of why a Celt (and they explicitly mention she's Celtic) ended up in Katmandu and learned Eastern mysticism, especially since they said she was really old. Even if it was just a couple of lines of dialogue.

Twick
12-13-2016, 08:21 PM
Yeah, I read that and can understand the reasoning for it. But I would've still liked the character to have been Asian, if nothing else. When Dr. Strange was created back in the 60's, Eastern mysticism was a big thing, which is probably why the Ancient One was originally Tibetan. If nothing else, I would've liked the explanation of why a Celt (and they explicitly mention she's Celtic) ended up in Katmandu and learned Eastern mysticism, especially since they said she was really old. Even if it was just a couple of lines of dialogue.

I think that having a non-Asian as current leader was intriguing. It took the mysticism out of the "it's the mystique of the EAST!" cliché and made it feel more global. The centre may be Katmandu, but the students come from everywhere.

aruna
12-13-2016, 09:10 PM
I think that having a non-Asian as current leader was intriguing. It took the mysticism out of the "it's the mystique of the EAST!" cliché and made it feel more global. The centre may be Katmandu, but the students come from everywhere.


But it was an explicitly Asian “brand” of mysticism she taught (I'm talking of the content now), so why shouldn’t it be named as such? Asian mysticism might be a cliché for some, but it exists, is pretty strong, and trying to brand it as Celtic is terribly inauthentic, and seems to be pandering to Westerner desires to see themselves at the highest height – as ever. THAT'S the cliche that bothers me more. No wait, it doesn't bother me, but it does get tiring.

Cyia
12-13-2016, 09:31 PM
What makes NO sense in their "reasoning" / retconning of the Ancient One is that there's a plethora of Pan-Asian-actor choices that don't involving the China/Tibet issue. There's a long list of female Pan-Asian-actors if they wanted to make the character into a woman. There was absolutely no reason for them to choose a "Celtic" Ancient One, other than making a conscious choice to do so.

John Cho's in one of the biggest running movie-series in the world right now with Star Trek; he's got plenty of brand recognition for an American or European audience. Steven Yeun was probably looking for something new, given they killed him off the Walking Dead. Jet Li and Ken Watanbe are older, if they wanted someone with more age to their face. Chow Yun-Fat, Daniel Dae Kim - they probably could have even offered the part to Jackie Chan.

If they wanted a woman, I still say Michelle Yeoh was perfect, but Zhang Ziyi is also a known-name to American audiences, and Fan Bing Bing has an X-Men movie under her belt.

These aren't even names it's hard to think of, and granted they aren't Tibetan or all Chinese, but a casting director should have been able to come up with a hundred more in a matter of minutes. It's a flimsy excuse, at best.

EMaree
12-13-2016, 09:49 PM
Lucy Liu would've been amazing in literally any of the movie's roles, and she's a well-established American actress with a strong platform.

LittlePinto
12-13-2016, 10:02 PM
But it was an explicitly Asian “brand” of mysticism she taught (I'm talking of the content now), so why shouldn’t it be named as such? Asian mysticism might be a cliché for some, but it exists, is pretty strong, and trying to brand it as Celtic is terribly inauthentic, and seems to be pandering to Westerner desires to see themselves at the highest height – as ever. THAT'S the cliche that bothers me more. No wait, it doesn't bother me, but it does get tiring.

I didn't get the impression they were trying to brand the mysticism as Celtic. The impression I got was that it was Asian mysticism, but anyone could learn and master it.

autumnleaf
12-13-2016, 10:55 PM
I didn't get the impression they were trying to brand the mysticism as Celtic. The impression I got was that it was Asian mysticism, but anyone could learn and master it.

There was a throwaway line about The Ancient One being "Celtic". The pedantic part of me wanted to ask if she was part of the tribes that the ancient Greeks called "Keltoi" or if she came from one of the regions where Celtic languages are spoken, but I'm guessing that "Celtic" is just the go-to white-person mysticism, even when the obvious cultural influences are Asian rather than European.

I agree that it would have been better to cast an Asian actor as The Ancient One, but if they had to have Tilda Swinton, they could have at least done without the dumb "Celtic" label.

LittlePinto
12-13-2016, 11:25 PM
There was a throwaway line about The Ancient One being "Celtic". The pedantic part of me wanted to ask if she was part of the tribes that the ancient Greeks called "Keltoi" or if she came from one of the regions where Celtic languages are spoken, but I'm guessing that "Celtic" is just the go-to white-person mysticism, even when the obvious cultural influences are Asian rather than European.

I agree that it would have been better to cast an Asian actor as The Ancient One, but if they had to have Tilda Swinton, they could have at least done without the dumb "Celtic" label.

Yeah, but the line didn't indicate that the magic or mysticism was Celtic--only the character. When first talking to Strange about magic, she illustrated her point with a diagram of the chakras, one of accupuncture, and an MRI. Her weapon of choice appears to be inspired by an Asian-style hand fan.

Really, the only thing you could point to for a Celtic influence in the magic is the Celtic knot that appears in the mirror dimension when the Ancient One faces off against Kaecilius at the end of Act Two. However, as the film established that a sorcerer can reshape reality in the mirror dimension, it could equally be seen as a reflection of her individual identity.

Jade Rothwell
12-15-2016, 01:16 AM
Checked out Dr. Strange this weekend and we all dug it, including my wife who knows less than zero about the character. For a comic book fan who read the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko stories, I've been waiting for this guy to finally get his own shot. Hell, if Ant-Man can, who can't?

Something I've never figured out and that's WHY do people get up and grab their coats as soon as the credits start to roll? I almost want to shout, "HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN A MARVEL MOVIE BEFORE? YOU'RE MISSING THE POST-CREDITS STINGERS!!!"
:e2Order::e2Order::e2Order:

I almost want to, but I don't. It's their loss. Losers.

I know, right? Even if you've never seen a Marvel movie, wouldn't you have heard that they have post-credit scenes? Or notice that the lights are still off? Or that people are still sitting??


Lucy Liu would've been amazing in literally any of the movie's roles, and she's a well-established American actress with a strong platform.

I LOVE HER SO MUCH SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN BRILLIANT :heart: *Gushes*

dirtsider
12-15-2016, 01:52 AM
What makes NO sense in their "reasoning" / retconning of the Ancient One is that there's a plethora of Pan-Asian-actor choices that don't involving the China/Tibet issue. There's a long list of female Pan-Asian-actors if they wanted to make the character into a woman. There was absolutely no reason for them to choose a "Celtic" Ancient One, other than making a conscious choice to do so.

John Cho's in one of the biggest running movie-series in the world right now with Star Trek; he's got plenty of brand recognition for an American or European audience. Steven Yeun was probably looking for something new, given they killed him off the Walking Dead. Jet Li and Ken Watanbe are older, if they wanted someone with more age to their face. Chow Yun-Fat, Daniel Dae Kim - they probably could have even offered the part to Jackie Chan.

If they wanted a woman, I still say Michelle Yeoh was perfect, but Zhang Ziyi is also a known-name to American audiences, and Fan Bing Bing has an X-Men movie under her belt.

These aren't even names it's hard to think of, and granted they aren't Tibetan or all Chinese, but a casting director should have been able to come up with a hundred more in a matter of minutes. It's a flimsy excuse, at best.

This pretty much sums up what bothers me about retconning the character to be 'Celtic', especially since the fact that the Ancient One was Tibetan was/is a big part of the original Dr. Strange canon. Not to mention the fact that was the only thing that was changed and that they made a big deal of the fact that the Ancient One was, well, ancient (meaning centuries), and no explanation given on how and why 'she' came to the school and became the Ancient One in the first place. If there was no emphasis on the Ancient One's age and the character was born in the 19th or 20th Centuries, I'd have less of an issue with it due to Westerners going to Asia to learn Eastern mysticism over the last 100 years or so.

I don't mind changing race when there's not as much emphasis placed on a certain culture where the character is concerned. Take the character of Mordo, for example. I enjoyed Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance in the movie. In the original comics/origin story, it's actually Mordo, a white character, who attacks the Ancient One. For the movie, they changed that character's name to Kaecilius and wrote a totally new origin story for Mordo. But there's a lot more emphasis of/on culture - the fact that it's Eastern mysticism that's being taught, not something generic or a blend of East and West and the emphasis on the Ancient One's age throughout the movie - where the Ancient One is concerned. So it bugs me that the only reason for retconning the character to a non-Asian is a financial reason not related to the story.

autumnleaf
12-15-2016, 03:20 PM
If they wanted a centuries-old white person to end up in Asia, they could have gone with Tocharian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocharians
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocharians)

aruna
12-15-2016, 05:01 PM
I didn't get the impression they were trying to brand the mysticism as Celtic. The impression I got was that it was Asian mysticism, but anyone could learn and master it.

Though that is true, then why make her white? Why couldn't she or he be native? In my experience there are far more Asian (including Indian) natives than Europeans who are "adepts", and they are closer to the teaching as the whole mentality is often grounded in it. Why choose the minority culture?

dirtsider
12-15-2016, 07:19 PM
Though that is true, then why make her white? Why couldn't she or he be native? In my experience there are far more Asian (including Indian) natives than Europeans who are "adepts", and they are closer to the teaching as the whole mentality is often grounded in it. Why choose the minority culture?

I second this. If the location of the school was in New York City or London or some large European city, I wouldn't blink an eye at having a European Ancient One. But the whole point was that Dr. Strange used the last of his money to get out to Katmandu in Asia. And the only thing changed was the ethnicity of the Ancient One. Everything else (the clothing, the building the school was located in, the mandalas and fighting styles) was Asian.

LittlePinto
12-15-2016, 07:41 PM
Though that is true, then why make her white? Why couldn't she or he be native? In my experience there are far more Asian (including Indian) natives than Europeans who are "adepts", and they are closer to the teaching as the whole mentality is often grounded in it. Why choose the minority culture?

Sometimes it's not a narrative choice, but a business one. Tilda Swinton is a very conservative choice in that she's known as a brilliant character actor who specializes in offbeat roles for films which are frequently well-received critically and commercially. When producers are playing with $165 million of other people's money, they will go with the conservative choice more often than not.

aruna
12-15-2016, 09:33 PM
Sometimes it's not a narrative choice, but a business one. Tilda Swinton is a very conservative choice in that she's known as a brilliant character actor who specializes in offbeat roles for films which are frequently well-received critically and commercially. When producers are playing with $165 million of other people's money, they will go with the conservative choice more often than not.

Yes...similar things happen in publishing, and they are always business decisions, mores the pity.

Cyia
12-15-2016, 10:11 PM
I second this. If the location of the school was in New York City or London or some large European city, I wouldn't blink an eye at having a European Ancient One. But the whole point was that Dr. Strange used the last of his money to get out to Katmandu in Asia. And the only thing changed was the ethnicity of the Ancient One. Everything else (the clothing, the building the school was located in, the mandalas and fighting styles) was Asian.


Agreed. It's a bit weird for someone to travel all that way and specifically go into a different culture only to find... random European lady he could have found at any decent medical school the US or UK.

Oh, hello. Weren't you the TA for my Anatomy 302 class at Columbia?

or

Here on holiday from Cambridge, are you?

or

No... where's the real Ancient One? This is hazing for the new guy, right? No seriously. Where is he? Wong? It's you, isn't it Wong? You're the Ancient and this is a test. She's the last one to make it up the mountain and this is tradition or something. Seriously? No... seriously?

You know, they could have even put an insert into the multiverse/mirror dimension scenes that showed the Ancient One's "reflection" as a dozen different men and women of a dozen different ethnicities to show that the title changed hands.

dirtsider
12-15-2016, 10:22 PM
Agreed. It's a bit weird for someone to travel all that way and specifically go into a different culture only to find... random European lady he could have found at any decent medical school the US or UK.

Oh, hello. Weren't you the TA for my Anatomy 302 class at Columbia?

or

Here on holiday from Cambridge, are you?

or

No... where's the real Ancient One? This is hazing for the new guy, right? No seriously. Where is he? Wong? It's you, isn't it Wong? You're the Ancient and this is a test. She's the last one to make it up the mountain and this is tradition or something. Seriously? No... seriously?

You know, they could have even put an insert into the multiverse/mirror dimension scenes that showed the Ancient One's "reflection" as a dozen different men and women of a dozen different ethnicities to show that the title changed hands.

I think they did that a little when he first got past the door. But even then, I think I would've liked even just a comment on how/why she became the Ancient One, especially since there was the throwaway comment about her being Celtic.

On the topic of business choices trumping narrative choices, the thing that gets me is that there are a lot of well-known Asian actors and actresses that could've been used, even going with the conservative aspect of things. Don't get me wrong, I like Tilda Swinton and think she did a very good job in the role but I still would have preferred an Asian actor/actress since they kept everything else Asian.

LittlePinto
12-15-2016, 11:26 PM
It's not just about casting an actor with a certain ethnicity; the actor's type also has to match the character's type. So they had to find a big name Asian actor (male or female) who could also play that ageless, unearthly character type.

Maggie Maxwell
12-15-2016, 11:41 PM
It's not just about casting an actor with a certain ethnicity; the actor's type also has to match the character's type. So they had to find a big name Asian actor (male or female) who could also play that ageless, unearthly character type.

Michelle Yeoh could do it. Michelle Yeoh could DESTROY it.

Also, I'm not a fan of clinging to the idea that it has to be a "big name." You've got a cast chock full of big names. If Cumberbatch, Ejiofor, McAdams, and Wong aren't enough for a studio, then that studio has issues. Asia is full of talented actors who people outside of their countries have never heard of. Pretty sure you could find a hundred people who would fit the bill, and a dozen who would be just as good as Tilda.

dirtsider
12-15-2016, 11:49 PM
It's not just about casting an actor with a certain ethnicity; the actor's type also has to match the character's type. So they had to find a big name Asian actor (male or female) who could also play that ageless, unearthly character type.

No offense, but I think you're kinda grasping at straws with this point. I agree with Maggie Maxwell - there are plenty of Asian actors/actresses who could've fit the bill easily, 'big name' or not.

Cyia
12-15-2016, 11:49 PM
It's not just about casting an actor with a certain ethnicity; the actor's type also has to match the character's type. So they had to find a big name Asian actor (male or female) who could also play that ageless, unearthly character type.

Again, Michelle Yeoh or Jet Li. I love seeing Soon-Tek Oh on screen; he's got a great voice for an "ageless" character. Or if none of those are big enough names, then what about George friggin' Takei? If they can de-age Michael Douglas for the opening of Ant-Man, they can photoshop a few years off Command Sulu.

LittlePinto
12-16-2016, 10:07 PM
No offense, but I think you're kinda grasping at straws with this point. I agree with Maggie Maxwell - there are plenty of Asian actors/actresses who could've fit the bill easily, 'big name' or not.

Out of curiosity, are you an actor?


Again, Michelle Yeoh or Jet Li. I love seeing Soon-Tek Oh on screen; he's got a great voice for an "ageless" character. Or if none of those are big enough names, then what about George friggin' Takei? If they can de-age Michael Douglas for the opening of Ant-Man, they can photoshop a few years off Command Sulu.

Michelle Yeoh would be the closest possibility of your suggestions. Jet Li would have been another good option given his movement background and personal beliefs. The only real risk he brings is that audiences would consider him miscast due to his previously established type (from the martial arts action films).

George Takei was performing in Allegiance during the filming of Doctor Strange. He spent seven years trying to get that musical to Broadway.

Soon-Tek Oh would have been excellent for the role...and people would not have stopped complaining about the Magical Asian trope.

aruna
12-16-2016, 10:20 PM
I think what bugs me most about the argument "it's ok to have a white character because we don't want Asian-mysticism-cliches etc etc" (aka magical Asian trope) is that it's Westerners who made a cliche of Eastern mysticism, starting with the Beatles and moving on through Rajneesh-groupies to Eckart Tolle and Elisabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love), all of whom ran with ancient, serious, difficult to comprehend semi-secret Eastern teachings that take a lifetime to learn and diluted them down for lazy Westerners and introduced them into pop culture so that Kathmandu and Rishikesh became veritable hippy-dippy marketplaces and circuses, and instant Western "gurus" (self-appointed) are popping up like mushrooms all over the place, and now suddenly, "we shouldn't have Asian teachers of mysticism because that's a cliche, so let's make her Westerner to show how inclusive it is". Damn! (I need to take a breath!)

dirtsider
12-16-2016, 10:26 PM
Out of curiosity, are you an actor?

How is me being or not being an actor relevant? Other people have mentioned Asian actors who fit your criteria (big name, Asian, ageless, unearthly character type) so I'm not going to bother repeating them. Tilda Swinton, as good as she is, is not the only actress capable of playing ageless unearthly, ethereal characters.

Also, there is the casting process so I'm sure they could've found ~someone~.

aruna
12-16-2016, 11:03 PM
Speaking of -- just read this on Facebook:

(http://www.vulture.com/2016/12/tilda-swinton-called-margaret-cho-doctor-strange-controversy.html)


Margaret Cho has been vocal about the erasure of Asian-Americans from Hollywood films, including the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, a Tibetan monk, in Marvel's Doctor Strange. Cho led public conversations online about how Asian-Americans are whitewashed (http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/hollywood-whitewashing-gets-called-out.html) in media earlier this year after the controversy erupted, and apparently she also had private conversations with Swinton herself. “Tilda eventually emailed me and she said that she didn't understand why people were so mad about Doctor Strange and she wanted to talk about it, and wanted to get my take on why all the Asian people were mad,” Cho tells (https://tigerbelly.libsyn.com/episode-71) Bobby Lee on his podcast TigerBelly. “It was so weird.”


Cho and Swinton had a "long discussion," after which Swinton told Cho not to “tell anybody.” “It was a long fight about why the part should not have gone to her. That's what I thought: The part should not have gone to her,” said Cho. “We'd fight about it and basically it ended with her saying, 'Well I'm producing a movie and Steven Yeun is starring.'” (This is no doubt a reference to Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming film (http://www.vulture.com/2015/11/brad-pitt-netflix-back-bong-joon-hos-next-film.html) Okja in which Swinton stars with Yeun.)

LittlePinto
12-16-2016, 11:13 PM
How is me being or not being an actor relevant? Other people have mentioned Asian actors who fit your criteria (big name, Asian, ageless, unearthly character type) so I'm not going to bother repeating them. Tilda Swinton, as good as she is, is not the only actress capable of playing ageless unearthly, ethereal characters.

Also, there is the casting process so I'm sure they could've found ~someone~.

It's relevant because every actor knows that typecasting is an unpleasant reality of the job and that mentioning it probably played a factor here is not "grasping at straws," but stating a real probability. Every actor has hundreds of stories about being typecast...or being passed over for a role they could have played well because they didn't fit the type. Acting professors and coaches tell their students, "Know your type and you'll never starve." I was just trying to figure out if you were not an actor or if you were an actor in a city I need to move to immediately. :)

I want the system to change, but if it's going to then those of us who are a part of it need the people on the outside to listen to what we have to say, even if it's uncomfortable. I'm fine with wanting an Asian actor for the role--My own belief is that casting decisions should always expand opportunities for traditionally underrepresented actors. Therefore, if you have a role traditionally played by a member of an underrepresented group, it shouldn't be given to someone who has a wider range of opportunities. In other words, stop casting able-bodied people to play differently abled people in your Oscar bait, Hollywood.--but I'm not going to stop at "they should have cast X, Y, or Z." I'm going to point out why they probably didn't cast X, Y, or Z, because each of those reasons points to a deeper problem in the industry that needs to be addressed in order for it to become truly representative.

Cyia
12-16-2016, 11:27 PM
Speaking of -- just read this on Facebook: (http://www.vulture.com/2016/12/tilda-swinton-called-margaret-cho-doctor-strange-controversy.html)

It can be a huge mess.

You have an actress who took a role, one she may not have known was traditionally Asian. Then she tries to understand why people are upset at her being cast and finds out that she's been basically whitewashed into a movie. That can be a gut punch.

Then it gets worse when a person in this situation tries to find ways to handwave it away. They may be trying to reassure their self that they wouldn't intentionally have taken a role under these circumstances, but it often comes across as making excuses, especially when it's done from the place of privilege that exists when you've already reaped the benefit of being cast and having shot the film.

You've also got actors who rationalize roles like this as "if I don't, someone else will, so why should I let them benefit in my place?" which perpetuates the problem. If a casting director were to approach a big name star with a role, and they said no on grounds of cultural erasure, and then the next star did the same thing, and the next four did the same, then something might change, but as long as there's someone in the chain who will say yes (even out of ignorance of the character), it's going to take decisions higher up the studio structure or in the audience to change it.

Look at the hoops they jumped through with The Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Kingsley's a great actor - awesome even. He flat out nailed the persona of The Mandarin, but he's not Chinese. Genetically, he's part Indian. And then, as the movie progressed, they twisted even further to pretzel the story into one where the generic Caucasian baddie is the "real" Mandarin, which made it worse - both for fans of the character and for the idea that a character obviously rooted in Asian culture (I don't care that he's an alien, it's still obvious) has to be warped into this other form. The entire movie could have been simplified by casting an intimidating Chinese actor in the role and letting the Mandarin be the Mandarin.

dirtsider
12-16-2016, 11:36 PM
I see. I think we were trying to say the same things but coming at it from different angles. I understand that actors do get typecast (Jet Li for example) and the desire to expand opportunities for underrepresented actors and I agree with your reasoning.

I do want to see more diversity, such as casting Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo or Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. (Both those characters are white in the original comics.) I think that's why a lot of people in this thread have mentioned dissatisfaction of seeing a ~white~ Ancient One in this case.

But when I said "you're grasping at straws", it felt like you were supporting the business decision of having a Euro-American for that particular role, rather than opening the role up to non-Euro-Americans, even though an Asian would've made more sense, given they didn't change anything else. My mistake.

LittlePinto
12-16-2016, 11:42 PM
Had I been producing Doctor Strange, I would have argued for taking the same route Disney ended up taking with Moana. Put together a pan-Asian team of writers and scholars in order to develop a story and characters rooted in Asian mythology and folklore. Then cast it with a purely Asian or Asian-American cast. (Unfortunately, the film would probably have to lean Chinese instead of Tibetan because of the size of that market, but it would have been a start. Relying on the Chinese market more would also take some of the financial risk out of the film with respect to the domestic market.)

I think aruna really nailed the root problem with Doctor Strange's mythology. Western culture appropriated Eastern cultural elements and now we can't use them without tying our stories up in knots. It's time for film companies to give them back. I genuinely hope Moana's success paves the way for a live action film developed along the same principles.

LittlePinto
12-16-2016, 11:47 PM
I see. I think we were trying to say the same things but coming at it from different angles. I understand that actors do get typecast (Jet Li for example) and the desire to expand opportunities for underrepresented actors and I agree with your reasoning.

I do want to see more diversity, such as casting Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo or Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. (Both those characters are white in the original comics.) I think that's why a lot of people in this thread have mentioned dissatisfaction of seeing a ~white~ Ancient One in this case.

But when I said "you're grasping at straws", it felt like you were supporting the business decision of having a Euro-American for that particular role, rather than opening the role up to non-Euro-Americans, even though an Asian would've made more sense, given they didn't change anything else. My mistake.

Ah, I think you're right. My apologies for being unclear. Some writer I am, huh? ;)

Yeah, I agree with you entirely.

dirtsider
12-17-2016, 12:13 AM
Had I been producing Doctor Strange, I would have argued for taking the same route Disney ended up taking with Moana. Put together a pan-Asian team of writers and scholars in order to develop a story and characters rooted in Asian mythology and folklore. Then cast it with a purely Asian or Asian-American cast. (Unfortunately, the film would probably have to lean Chinese instead of Tibetan because of the size of that market, but it would have been a start. Relying on the Chinese market more would also take some of the financial risk out of the film with respect to the domestic market.)

I think aruna really nailed the root problem with Doctor Strange's mythology. Western culture appropriated Eastern cultural elements and now we can't use them without tying our stories up in knots. It's time for film companies to give them back. I genuinely hope Moana's success paves the way for a live action film developed along the same principles.

You should look up an older film called Dreamkeeper (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamkeeper). It's a very well made movie based on Native American legends. The crew brought in elders from the various tribes the legends were drawn from as advisors. That and out of all the major roles in the film, all but one of the roles were played by Native Americans.

And I was thinking the same thing about the root problem of the Dr. Strange mythology. But I also think it goes back a bit further than just the 1960's. I think there were other groups that incorporated Eastern philosophy and mysticism even back into the Victorian era, when India was part of the British Empire and there was a lot of Chinese immigrants to the American West. That's not the only examples. I'm sure there are a lot more.

Cyia
12-17-2016, 12:24 AM
I do want to see more diversity, such as casting Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo or Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. (Both those characters are white in the original comics.) I think that's why a lot of people in this thread have mentioned dissatisfaction of seeing a ~white~ Ancient One in this case.

The difference is that you could give Nick Fury literally any cultural background and it wouldn't matter. It's not intrinsic to who he is as a character. If you had flipped the casting of him and Clark Gregg as Coulson, neither character would have changed. Jackson's the bigger man, which would make Coulson's casual ferocity a little easier to explain, but their core character wouldn't be impacted in the least.

If a character's persona is completely rooted in a given culture or reason, then it matters when you toss that aside for a quick one-sentence rewrite.

dirtsider
12-17-2016, 12:40 AM
The difference is that you could give Nick Fury literally any cultural background and it wouldn't matter. It's not intrinsic to who he is as a character. If you had flipped the casting of him and Clark Gregg as Coulson, neither character would have changed. Jackson's the bigger man, which would make Coulson's casual ferocity a little easier to explain, but their core character wouldn't be impacted in the least.

If a character's persona is completely rooted in a given culture or reason, then it matters when you toss that aside for a quick one-sentence rewrite.

Oh, I agree with you (see my earlier posts, #82 and 85). I think we're all trying to say essentially the same thing: diversity is good but don't lose the ethnicity when the culture of the character calls for it.

Jade Rothwell
12-17-2016, 08:10 AM
I wrote a whole rant on how we need more racial diversity in media, then remembered how white I am and decided to leave a better explanation to someone who actually knows what they're talking about. I'm just going to say that we need to give more poc good roles. We need tv casts to actually reflect how diverse the world is, not just give us one poc and 6 white people. So giving a role like The Ancient One to a white person just takes away one of the very few important roles for a poc character in a mainstream film.

aruna
12-17-2016, 01:48 PM
It's really ironic how Marvel justifies this casting as an example of -- diversity! (http://www.vulture.com/2016/04/marvel-tilda-swintons-ancient-one-is-celtic.html) As a departure from stereotype!




Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.

nighttimer
12-18-2016, 02:31 AM
I wrote a whole rant on how we need more racial diversity in media, then remembered how white I am and decided to leave a better explanation to someone who actually knows what they're talking about. I'm just going to say that we need to give more poc good roles. We need tv casts to actually reflect how diverse the world is, not just give us one poc and 6 white people. So giving a role like The Ancient One to a white person just takes away one of the very few important roles for a poc character in a mainstream film.


It's really ironic how Marvel justifies this casting as an example of -- diversity! (http://www.vulture.com/2016/04/marvel-tilda-swintons-ancient-one-is-celtic.html) As a departure from stereotype!

I'm just as ready as anybody to Hulk Out into full rage mode because its so damned outrageous--outrageous--OUTRAGEOUS that a supporting character from a 1963 comic book got a movie maker from a Tibetian mystic to a bald White woman from Scotland, but in this case it's really misplaced because if you're really and truly bent out of shape over The Ancient One's race and gender-bending, I'd like to know how the Legions of the Annoyed would have reacted if Wong had still been cast as the tea-serving man servant of Stephen Strange?

http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h361/nighttimer/drstrange_wong01_zps05rscqme.jpg

That's who Wong was in the funny books. Wonder why they changed him up in the movie? Oh, that's right...the subservient Asian. Not quite as cool a stereotype in 2016 as the aged Asian guru who teaches the Western White Man the secrets of the mystic arts.

As someone who read the comics and enjoyed the movie, I had no more problem with making the Ancient One a White woman than I did when Hollywood cast Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin, Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White, Will Smith as Deadshot, Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury because that's the sort of thing Hollywood does.

Swinton didn't simply attempt to appropriate an Asian character without attempting to understand why Asians might be a wee bit upset about it and if one bothers to read her e-mail exchange with Margaret Cho, (http://www.ew.com/article/2016/12/16/tilda-swinton-margaret-cho-emails-doctor-strange-whitewashing)


Here’s the situation I reckon Marvel was in. The old comic books from way back when are stuffed with stereotypes that we could all find offensive for any number of reasons.

The film - like any film adaptation - is a riff on the books. The Ancient One may have been written as a Tibetan man in the comics, but Marvel, in a conscious effort to shake up stereotypes, wanted to avoid tired cliché. They cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as the second lead - a white Transylvanian in the books. And wrote a significant Asian character to be played by Benedict Wong.

With The Ancient One (the ‘wise old Eastern geezer’ Fu Manchu type in the book), wanting to switch up the gender (another diversity department) and not wanting to engage with the old ‘Dragon Lady’ trope, they chose to write the character as being of (ancient) Celtic origin and offered that role to me. Presumably on Ancient grounds. I accepted happily, impressed that, for once, they aimed to disrupt the ‘wisdom must be male’ never-ending story - and, by the way, for once, wanting to feature a woman who’s a badass, over 26 and not simply bursting out of a bikini.


The biggest irony about this righteous protest targeting this particular film is the pains the makers went to to avoid it.


A - personal - irony to my being even remotely involved in this controversy is what I stand up for and always have. Whether it is challenging the idea of what women look like, or how any of us live our lives, or how we educate our children, diversity is pretty much my comfort zone. The idea of being caught on the wrong side of this debate is a bit of a nightmare to me.

I am as sick as anybody at the lack of a properly diverse cinematic universe. Pretty much sick of the Anglophone world in general, sick of all the men’s stories, sick of all the symmetrical features and Mattel-inspired limbs..

I’m a Scottish woman of 55 who lives in the Highlands. There’s precious little projected on contemporary cinema screens that means a great deal to my life, if truth be told.

Cho replied:


I’m totally unfamiliar with all the comic books so I can’t speak on anything about that - and the efforts to make this film more diverse is unfortunately lost in the translation here. Hopefully that comes up more when the film comes out and is finally brought to audiences!

I think that it’s just a timing thing - Asian Americans are fed up with not being given roles even if the part called for someone of Asian descent - and that the Ancient One role was being used as another example of ‘whitewashing’. Social media has grown to the point where we can use it effectively to express - well whatever.

I believe very much that you as an artist are about diversity and your body of work shows that - but this particular case of the Ancient One is just another in a long list of ‘whitewashed’ Asian characters and so you’re likely to feel the heat of history.

I am not sure what to say other than I am glad you want to meet the issue head on - it’s a tough one I know.

I think that talking about the issue frankly - as you have done with me is the right way to go. It’s hard I know - people get very angry and it’s difficult to know what to do to get around that anger. But you should know that it’s anger built up over many many years of invisibility within film/tv/media that’s just exploded now with this film. And it’s not just you - It’s also directed at Scarlett Johanssen for Ghost in the Shell.

Swinton seems more to me like an actor sincerely attempting to understand the controversy swirling around a part she's playing and respectfully reaching out to ask someone who might know. If anybody's an asshole here, it's Cho who comes off as the disingenuous one later by going on a podcast and claiming Swinton approaching her, "...was weird because I felt like a house Asian, like I'm her servant."

Wait...what? House Asian? Servant? WHERE? :Wha:

EMaree
12-18-2016, 04:48 AM
If anybody's an asshole here, it's Cho who comes off as the disingenuous one later by going on a podcast and claiming Swinton approaching her, "...was weird because I felt like a house Asian, like I'm her servant."

Wait...what? House Asian? Servant? WHERE? :Wha:

Gotta strongly disagree with this. Reading the article, I understand that Tilda e-mailed Margaret Cho to try and get more understanding on why the Ancient One's casting was an issue. That sounds like a cool thing to do if you want to understand direct from an affected source, right? Wrong. Asking a PoC to explain PoC issues puts the brunt of explaining on the PoC, and it demands their time and energy wording an explanation. You are expecting that PoC to do work for you for free. It's a concept called emotional labour (http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/women-femmes-emotional-labor/), asking a stranger to give up their time and energy because you feel entitled to it.

Strangers do not owe your their time or their words, especially when those strangers are an affected minority. Especially when you're a highly-regarded actor with significantly more power and influence that the person you're asking. Especially if you're planning to release those private communications later (what the fuck, Tilda) to try and score points over how genuine you are and how hard you're trying.

Cho isn't being a dick when she says she felt like a "servant" -- she was expressing how shitty it feels to have a big-name actor contact you out of the blue demanding your time and effort. It's a pretty common sentiment expressed by minorities who are frequently badgered into explaining minority issues, usually by someone outside of the minority who hasn't done the research.

Tilda is a local lass; I have a lot of respect for her. But this was a dick move from all angles. Don't buy into the narrative that's trying to paint Cho as an asshole for objecting to being used.

aruna
12-18-2016, 01:38 PM
Nighttimer, I'm coming to this as a complete newbie to the whole Dr Strange mythology, having never read a Marvel comic. I don't care what the original Dr Strange was, and I'm not a bit "outraged" -- but watching the movie as exactly that newbie, I was genuinely, innocently, nonplussed as to why a white person was cast as this wise Ancient One. I was not in any way comparing the movie to the comics, which I have never read; I never even knew that Dr Strange existed before this movie. For me, and others like me, it is a standalone movie, and must be judged accordingly. I just found it, well, strange; and my objection comes exactly for the reasons I mentioned up-thread: that I am sick and tired of Westerners picking out certain very ancient teachings which were hitherto unknown in the West, usurping them, and re-branding them as their own, and they as the Masters. As someone who regularly visits India to immerse myself in certain wisdom I find there, I'm sick and tired of the cliche of it all being dubbed New Age, when in fact it's thousands of years old, and Westerners trying to take over. This happened again in this movie.

It's good that Swinton reached out to Cho to understand, but I don't think she "gets" it at all.

As for the original Ancient One being originally a servant (OK, Alessandra has explained below that this is not the case) -- I didn't know this and it doesn't bother me. Many genuine teachers came from very lowly backgrounds, and that is good, because in that culture the priorities are reversed to those of the West: ego-lowliness, and eventual annihilation, is a pre-condition to wisdom, and humble worldly stature is considered advantageous. Some of the greatest Vedantic teachers were beggars.

Not that Dr Strange himself had to come down from his high horse of being a renowned surgeon, before he could even begin to learn.

Alessandra Kelley
12-18-2016, 02:25 PM
As for the original Ancient One being originally a servant -- I didn't know this and it doesn't bother me. Many genuine teachers came from very lowly backgrounds, and that is good, because in that culture the priorities are reversed to those of the West: ego-lowliness, and eventual annihilation, is a pre-condition to wisdom, and humble worldly stature is considered advantageous. Some of the greatest Vedantic teachers were beggars.

Not that Dr Strange himself had to come down from his high horse of being a renowned surgeon, before he could even begin to learn.

I'm afraid there's a bit of confusion here.

In the Doctor Strange comics it is Wong who was the hereditary humble manservant, not the Ancient One.

In the film Wong is the smart-alec librarian played by Benedict Wong. The film version of Wong deliberately subverts the comic book character, but in a different way than Tilda Swinton's Ancient One.

aruna
12-18-2016, 02:28 PM
OK -- not having read the comics -- I am ignorant (shallow-read of nighttimer's post)! But my objection still holds. That was a minor point, which I misunderstood.
And again: this must be judged as a standalone. Not fair to compare with the comic!

(And the general fact remains, that being a servant is not necessarily a negative in Eastern mysticism, but more likely a positive. Other factors count.)

nighttimer
12-19-2016, 08:04 AM
Gotta strongly disagree with this. Reading the article, I understand that Tilda e-mailed Margaret Cho to try and get more understanding on why the Ancient One's casting was an issue. That sounds like a cool thing to do if you want to understand direct from an affected source, right? Wrong. Asking a PoC to explain PoC issues puts the brunt of explaining on the PoC, and it demands their time and energy wording an explanation. You are expecting that PoC to do work for you for free. It's a concept called emotional labour (http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/women-femmes-emotional-labor/), asking a stranger to give up their time and energy because you feel entitled to it.

So Tilda Swinton should have scratched a check to Margaret Cho so she wasn't working for free? Is that what you're saying?

I don't know for nothing about "emotional labour." What I do know is White people often go to Black people or other People of Color to explain to them what they do not understand. This concept is called "if you don't know you better ask somebody (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSqu_nrmtAk)." Swinton emailed Cho asking a sincere question and if Cho didn't feel like answering because it demanded too much of her time and energy to explain there's a real easy way to respond, "Sorry. Too busy. Go email George Takei." Problem. Solved.

Black people and Latino people and Asian people and Native American people and any other people of color have better things to do than sit around waiting for a clueless White person to ask them clueless questions which may or may not be within their area of expertise. I am not a Magic Negro and I am not a Negro Tour Guide. Yes, it does get old when you are asked by a White co-worker, a White girlfriend, or a White stranger something obvious to you that they're oblivious to.

However, I'd much rather take the time to enlighten the sincerely open-minded than fold my arms, shrug my shoulders and utter an exasperated, "What? I gotta explain this shit to you AGAIN?"

Way back in 2005, I read a book entitled, Afraid of the Dark: What Whites and Blacks Need to Know About Each Other by Jim Myers and it got me thinking as to why does it have to be so tough to talk about race. Perhaps because most of us already think we already know all there is to know on the topic and most of us are all wrong. Most Blacks have to navigate their way through a predominantly White world, but it's not unusual for Whites to go a long time and never deal with Blacks or other races at all. They have no Black friends, never worked with a Black person, certainly never had a Black boss or had a Black doctor, dentist or barber.



It is likely, then that white Americans by the millions have never particpated in a serious, intense, and honest discussion about race with a black person, because to most white Americans, this is a scary proposition. Most Americans remain wary about it, even if they also believe that blacks and whites should talk more about race.

Whites, in particular, fear that they may say the wrong thing---without intending to do so or knowing what made it wrong (This fear is related to the belief that black people are mysterious and unfathomable; you just can't figure them out.) And when I ask black people how often they discuss racial issues with whites, most say rarely or never, another measure of the current racial dialogue. As a result, both blacks and whites often hold their tongues in each other's presence.

For example, we know from polls that 57 percent of whites believe that "many" or "almost all" black people do not like white people---one good reason why whites might want to avoid discussions. But whites have other reservations, too. They expect the discussion will inevitably focus on black accusations against whites---and whites will be forced to defend the actions of slave owners and segregationists or admit some manner of defeat or inner failings.

Many whites look upon discussions about race as situations where whites cannot fare well, because whites imagine that black people have all the critical advantages:

* Blacks are better prepared. Race is their subject. They have all the expertise.

* Blacks have better arguments, involving obvious wrongs done them in the past.

* Blacks are more practiced at the passionate give-and-take of such discussions.



Part of the problem as I see it is that blacks and whites tend to discuss the same subject differently. Myers refers to Thomas Kochman's Black and White Styles in Conflict which focuses on the racial differences in discourse.

"If black discussion tends to be loud, animated and passionate and white discussion tends to be calm, ordered and dispassionate, the differences are also in line with stereotypes we have about blacks and whites. For many black Americans, a sense of feeling and conviction is required to convince listeners you are telling the truth and care about what you are saying. But many white Americans prefer calm, reasoned discourse and are uneasy when the discussion gets too heated. As a result, blacks can wonder if whites who try to sound calm and reasonable are sincere. They suspect duplicity; whites don't seem to be saying anything they really believe in. Meanwhile, whites can worry that blacks who speak with passion are letting their emotions run riot. Maybe they aren't thinking rationally. Maybe they will turn violent if they don't get their way."

According to Kochman, "White culture values the ability of individuals to rein in their impulses. White cultural events do not allow for individually initiated self-assertion or the spontaneous expression of feeling...because white culture requires that individuals check their impulses that come from within, whites become able practitioners of self-restraint. However, this practice has an inhibiting effect on their ability to be spontaneously self-assertive. Consequently whites find themselves at a disadvantage when engaging in debate with blacks."

It's not Cho's job to make it clear for every White actress trying to figure out why their name is a trending topic on Twitter (and not in a good way), but when it comes to her overly-dramatic reinterpretation of how Swinton approached her, I see Cho as the one with the bigger issue than Swinton. Any Person of Color weary of yet another White person asking them questions they don't feel like answering still has the option to say, "Nope. Not me. I'm out of the Race Expert business."



Strangers do not owe your their time or their words, especially when those strangers are an affected minority. Especially when you're a highly-regarded actor with significantly more power and influence that the person you're asking. Especially if you're planning to release those private communications later (what the fuck, Tilda) to try and score points over how genuine you are and how hard you're trying.

As opposed to Margaret Cho trying to score points by falsely claiming Swinton made her feel like a "House Asian" and a "servant?" That's not how I read it, so tell me what's Cho trying to prove by that? If she didn't want to be Swinton's 411 operator all she had to say was, "Fuck off, Tilda. Go do your own homework and don't bug me."

Those private communications stopped being private when Cho went on a podcast and told a bullshit story to make Swinton not only look clueless, but arrogant in her racial ignorance. You! Asian woman! I do not understand this Ancient One controversy. Explain it to me! For someone like Swinton who says she doesn't do social media, doesn't live in the U.S. and was caught unaware of the volatility of how The Ancient One doesn't work in 2016 as well as he did in 1963 when Steve Ditko dreamed him up, someone probably suggested asking Cho because she didn't know.

To me Swinton's biggest blunder was asking the duplicitious Cho who seemingly had her own agenda to whine how imposed upon she felt by this stupid White woman after she voluntarily agreed to participate.


Cho isn't being a dick when she says she felt like a "servant" -- she was expressing how shitty it feels to have a big-name actor contact you out of the blue demanding your time and effort. It's a pretty common sentiment expressed by minorities who are frequently badgered into explaining minority issues, usually by someone outside of the minority who hasn't done the research.

Pardon me, EMaree, but since you're not a Person of Color, how do you know what is and what is not "a pretty common sentiment expressed by minorities?" I don't know many People of Color who even refer to themselves as "minorities." I certainly don't. How'd you become such an expert?

In the Scottish Highlands, I'd be a minority. In Hanford Village, the Columbus, Ohio neighborhood I grew up in, you would be.


Tilda is a local lass; I have a lot of respect for her. But this was a dick move from all angles. Don't buy into the narrative that's trying to paint Cho as an asshole for objecting to being used.

Yeah, I do think it was a dick move but by Cho, not Swinton. You can feel differently and clearly you do, but Cho is the one who painted herself as an asshole for engaging in the conversation with Swinton and then objecting by claiming she was being used. There's your "dick move" but the dickery is by Cho, not Swinton.

Cyia
12-19-2016, 08:20 AM
There's a difference between being a servant to someone you're learning from, which is more of an apprentice / student relationship, and something like Hop-Sing from Bonanza where the character exists to wear a long pigtail and speak in broken English for cheap comedic effect. For one thing, the apprentice character will eventually become the master character; the comic stereotype will never break out of their role because it ruins the so-called joke.

Granted, I was always an X-Men fan and only read three or four issues of Dr. Strange, so I'm not very familiar with the dynamics involved, but I thought Wong was supposed to be subordinate in training, but nothing else. If I'm wrong, feel free to point and laugh.

I also have to say that I don't see what's wrong with asking "What did I do wrong?" if something a person does offends someone else. That's how you learn not to keep doing the offensive thing, and it's how you learn empathy. If someone unfamiliar with the material (and many actors are when they're cast in roles) doesn't know the original context of a character, s/he might not know that they're stripping the original cultural markers. It's not like "Ancient One" comes with obvious role markers of names like Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell or Hawaii's Allison Ng to clue the actors in that maybe they're not from the right background to play it. It's possible Swinton didn't know she was being cast in place of an Asian actress. The problem is with the person who put out the casting call and didn't specify.

veinglory
12-19-2016, 08:33 AM
In the comics Wong was definitely, throughout the series, a servant from a family of servants to the mystical masters. His status was both explicitly discussed and raised in the later series but still in the same servant mode.

Jade Rothwell
12-19-2016, 09:04 AM
I think you can be happy that Wong isn't a stereotype and still unhappy that Swinton was cast. Wong was changed to avoid racism. Swinton was chosen for different reasons. There are a lot of explanations going around, but few seems on the same level as Wong's. I think it's possible to make a good choice and a bad choice in the same movie.

Isilya
02-14-2017, 01:53 AM
I really liked the movie and I'm terribly sad I missed it in 3D.

I thought Cumberbatch was a great casting choice as was Chiwetel Ejiofor. I'm not fond of the ancient one. I like the actor but :( The best reason I can think for that choice is they wanted to make it clear it wasn't Tibetan. To keep the Chinese market. Though, I think they could have done better.

I actually like the plot and the ending. I adored the cloak and the overall humor. I also liked Strange's character growth. I like that it was handled in stages instead of one big Ah ha moment.

I like that Christine (Rachel McAdams) is his love interest but she's doing her own thing and not just waiting for him especially after how he treated her. Once he's a changed man, she doesn't just go back to him. She kisses him on the cheek and leaves.
Sure the door is open to a reunion but I'm glad it didn't end with a happily ever after.

Definitely adding it to my movie collection.

WriterDude
03-12-2017, 04:02 AM
I just watched this. Enjoyed it, but when i saw that Dr Strange was actually a surgeon, I spent the whole movie bothered that it wasn't Mister Strange, but apparently that's just British weirdness, as per.

Twick
03-12-2017, 04:39 AM
I just watched this. Enjoyed it, but when i saw that Dr Strange was actually a surgeon, I spent the whole movie bothered that it wasn't Mister Strange, but apparently that's just British weirdness, as per.

Yep, that's not how it works in North America. Strange would definitely use "Doctor" over here.

Rhoda Nightingale
03-12-2017, 07:00 AM
What Isilya said: Disney wanted to appease the Chinese market and China hates Tibet. I also assumed that was whole reason the Ancient One role was changed - so that they're no longer Tibetan.

On a more personal note: I liked this movie a lot more the second time around. Because the second time around, I watched it with my mom. She's in recovery from a very complicated and life-altering surgery right now (this process is going to take most of the year), so she had a different perspective on it than I did. The idea of being attuned to a higher purpose, a more cosmic life force type thing, that doesn't require your physical body to be perfect. That's kind of important to her right now, and I wouldn't have thought of it without seeing it again and listening to her wax philosophical afterwards.